Like everywhere, Lake D’Arbonne Country has its share of issues. They can’t all be solved. But there’s one problem driving people crazy that could be helped. Trash. More specifically, wanton litter. Other communities have found solutions to this problem. Trash. More accurately, wanton litter. A box on the civilization test that some folks just can’t check.
Well, somebody on Facebook hkt the nail on the head this week:
People who won’t lift their trash three feet in the air and throw it in a dumpster instead of just scattering it on the ground? C’mon. That isn’t even civilized. If education, common sense and pride won’t motivate people, sometimes you’ve got to hit stupid in the pocketbook or, in some cases, lock it up to get everyone’s attention. Tickets. Legal Action. Deal with it and the word will spread almost as fast as litter.
When mass littering becomes the norm — “everybody else is doing it” and “nothing can be done” take over — the photos above and below is what you get.
You cant just do it with effort of a few. The dumpster below proves that. Dozens of community members have recently gathered with rakes, gloves and shovels and cleaned up behind their uncivilized neighbors around the dumpsters. The next day? Take a look:
Mr. or Mrs. Litterbug has shown up, thrown out 20 pounds of crawfish heads, set a bag of dirty diapers on the ground beside the dumpster and just left an old kitchen trashcan sitting there. I wonder what it looks like where they live? I don’t want to be too harsh. Maybe whoever did this is only three feet tall, was too weak to pick up a sack of garbage and couldn’t reach up into the four-foot high dumpster. That’s the only civilized explanation I can offer.
Unfortunately, the tax base in Union was overwhelmed in recent years with an educational building campaign. Money is hard to come by. Running the trash routes more regularly cost money. From what we’ve seen, it might not even help if Mr. Litterbug is too lazy to even throw his cardboard beer carton in a 10-yard long dumpster when it is totally empty. Enforcement takes money, too. But maybe if a few people were made examples of, it would help slow it down. The garbage pickup folks try, but I have to tell you — I’ve personally seen a truck roll down the road with litter blowing out for two or three miles. The big problem, though, is at the dumpsters. It would help to move them further off the highways so at least they aren’t like a pimple on your nose. Weyerhaeuser owns property at a lot of the sites and I’m sure a responsible company like that would help out. Others would, too. But until people decide they want to act civilized, there will still be a mess, albeit less visible.
I know places like Sabine Parish at Toledo Bend have cleaned up dumpster disasters by installing cameras and handing out tickets. They’ve made sure routes are sufficient to handle the normal use. It’s cleaned up 90% of the problems there in recent years.
It’s not the biggest problem in the world. But it’s one of the most frustrating, especially when you see it any way you approach the beautiful waters of Lake D’Arbonne. That just makes it seem so much worse. I’ve heard people make light of it. I certainly don’t understand that.
There are a lot of visitors that spend a lot of money when they come to Union Parish. That money, by the way, helps pay for road repairs and infrastructure. They don’t just come catch fish and go home. They love the lake, but they almost all notice the trash and wonder why it’s left like that. There are people working on trying to make this better. Newly elected police juror Nathan Pilgreen is one of them. They need your support. Union Parish and Lake D’Arbonne deserve better. Much better.